- The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) announced
that 181 Louisiana teachers from 42 school districts across the state
achieved national board certification after passing a rigorous program.
Louisiana now has 1,215 teachers who have achieved national certification
and ranks 13th in the nation for new awards this year (NBPTS,
- U.S. News and World Report awarded gold, silver and bronze medals to the
"best high schools" across the U.S., including 33 from Louisiana (U.S. News
& World Report, December 2007).
- Louisiana's Jobs for America Graduates program has received a national
performance award for a graduation rate of above 90% from the national JAG
program. Students in the program are high school seniors who typically have
academic, personal, environmental, economic and work-related barriers. The
JAG program, which began in Louisiana in 1995 with two sites, is one of the
most successful at-risk youth programs, having served more than 12,000
students (Monroe News-Star, December 2007).
- The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) has issued a report that
lists Louisiana as the only state in the 16-state southern region to achieve
promising progress in every category essential to developing a school
leadership preparation system. The report, titled "Schools Need Good Leaders
Now: State Progress in Creating a Learning-Centered School Leadership
System" was designed to encourage states and school systems to inspire and
train a new generation of school leaders who put curriculum and instruction
first (SREB, Nov 2007).
- Louisiana is one of three states recognized by the Southern Regional
Education Board for showing exceptional progress in narrowing the
achievement gap among black, Hispanic and white high school students on the
state's comprehensive exams required for high school graduation. Louisiana
has seen a 24% jump in achievement by black students since 2002. Hispanic
students showed 22% improvement, and white students improved by 13%
(Southern Regional Education Board, July 2007).
- Louisiana ranks among the best states in delivering economics and
personal finance education through its K-12 public schools, according to the
National Council on Economic Education. The council's 2007 Survey of the
States identifies Louisiana as one of only 9 states to require a course with
personal finance content and to require testing on it; one of 17 states to
require a course with economics content; and one of 22 to require testing of
economics (National Council on Education, June 2007).
- Louisiana had the greatest real increase in salaries (13.9%) for
teachers in the nation between the 1994-1995 and 2004-2005 school years
(National Education Association, November 2006).
- Louisiana ranked 11th in The State of State Standards 2006,
up from 14th in 2000. The report, conducted by the Fordham
Foundation, appraised the quality of statewide standards in core curricula
(Fordham Foundation, August 2006).
- Louisiana’s composite ACT score is 20.1, its highest average ever. The
state ranks 12th in the nation for percentage of students tested
(ACT Inc., 2006).
- Almost 90 percent of all Louisiana school districts improved their
District Performance Scores, the third year of improvement for the state.
The DPS indicates a combination of LEAP, GEE and Iowa scores, as well as
attendance and dropout rates (Louisiana DOE, March 2006).
- Louisiana’s public school accountability program ranks first in the
nation. The ranking praises the state’s efforts in improving teacher quality
(first in the nation), student performance, violence, and other factors that
make up the learning environment. Only Louisiana and South Carolina received
two "A" grades in accountability (Education Week, January 2006).
- Louisiana’s comprehensive early childhood education program, LA4, is
among the best in the nation. It has been highlighted by Georgetown
University as "simply stunning" and a model initiative. The nation’s premier
specialist in pre-kindergarten education says Louisiana is now in the top
tier of states in pre-K education, despite Louisiana’s students starting
later than their peers across the nation. For the 2005-2006 year, students
improved from the 10th percentile to the 50th
percentile in language; from the 11th percentile to the 59th
percentile in print; and from the 5th to the 52nd
percentile in math (Dr. Craig Ramey, Georgetown University, January 2006).
- Louisiana is 14th among all U.S. states for the number of
teachers receiving a benchmark national certification in 2006. There are now
207 more educators from 44 school districts who have become National Board
Certified Teachers. The state Department of Education says this is a
positive indicator for student success (National Board for Professional
Teaching Standards, December 2006).
- Five Baton Rouge-area teachers are among 44 teachers nationwide selected
for the 2006 Disney Teaching Award highlighting creative educators. The
winners will each receive $10,000 and a 6-day trip to Disneyland, and their
schools will receive $5,000 each. The winners are: Amanda S. Mayeaux,
Kathryn Lynn Pilcher and Monique D. Wild, all 8th-grade teachers
at Dutchtown Middle; Felicity Amond, a 7th-grade math teacher at
McKinley Middle; and Brenda Joyce Moncriffe, a high school math teacher at
Scotlandville High. The winners can also take advantage of a six-day
professional development training (The Advocate, May 2006).
- Baton Rouge's University High (listed as LSU Laboratory in the rankings)
made the list of Top 1000 High Schools in the nation, coming in at 208th.
The list is based on the number of Advanced Placement and/or International
Baccalaureate tests taken by all students in 2005 divided by the number of
graduating students (Newsweek, May 2006).
- Louisiana's colleges and universities received the nation's 27th
largest pot of federal funding for medical research in 2005. Tulane received
$73.3 million of the more than $293 million allocated to the Louisiana
institutions. The Tulane School of Medicine ranks 59th out of the
123 schools with such funding (National Institutes of Health, September
- Louisiana is being praised for improved efforts in enrolling, retaining
and graduating college students. Louisiana set goals for all three areas,
and prior to the hurricanes saw a 2 percent increase in enrollment, a 76
percent retention rate (5 percent improvement over the 2000 rate) and a 5
percent improvement in graduation rates (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
- A college education is more affordable in Louisiana than in the entire
country of Canada and all but two other U.S. states. A study found that the
combination of low tuition, the TOPS program and lots of federal aid for
students makes Louisiana the third most affordable state ( behind New
Hampshire and Oklahoma) in which to attend college (Educational Policy
Institute, April 2006).
- Louisiana State University's Robert S. Reich School of Landscape
Architecture has been ranked 2nd in the nation by
DesignIntelligence, the leading journal of design professionals. This is the
third consecutive year LSU's landscape school has been ranked among the top
five in the nation. LSU has been in the survey's top 10 schools every year
since the survey began several years ago (DesignIntelligence, January 2008).
- University of Louisiana at Monroe is one of only 12 schools nationwide
selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to launch a year-long course
known as the Phage Genomics Research Initiative, which engages students in
real-world type studies in which they practice genetic mapping (Monroe
News-Star, December 2007).
- Loyola University's Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library is the sixth-best
college library in the nation, according to the Princeton Review's "The Best
366 Colleges". Loyola University also placed 20th in the country
in terms of town-grown relations (Princeton Review, October 2007).
- Loyola, Tulane and Xavier Universities, and the University of New
Orleans were all made the list of "Best Southeastern Colleges", a list of
146 institutions in a dozen states (Princeton Review, October 2007).
- Newsweek magazine has listed Tulane University and Centenary colleges
among "The 25 Hottest Schools in America" for 2008. Tulane is deemed
"Hottest on the Rebound" as it recovers from Hurricane Katrina. Centenary
College in Shreveport is labeled the "Hottest Liberal Arts School You Never
Heard Of" (Newsweek, August 2007).
- LSU Health Sciences Center's audiology doctoral program has been ranked
in the top 24 nationally in US News & World Report's America's Best Graduate
Schools 2008 (US News & World Report, April 2007).
- Southern University has been named a host school for the U.S. Navy's
Seaman to Admiral Nuclear Options Program. Southern shares that distinction
with only 17 other schools across the country. The program selects
distinguished Navy cadets and puts them on a fast track to become top
officers and earn college degrees in three years (The Advocate, March 2007).
- Xavier, Tulane, Dillard and Loyola universities are all ranked on the
America’s Best Colleges 2007. Tulane is ranked 44th in the Best
Schools in the Nation category; Loyola and Xavier Universities ranked 4th
and 29th, respectively, in the category of Best Universities –
Masters in the South. Dillard ranks No. 17 in Comprehensive Colleges –
Bachelors in the South (U.S. News & World Report, 2006).
- The Southern Growth Policies Board in North Carolina, which promotes
enlightened economic development policies throughout the South, has singled
out Louisiana Tech University in Ruston as a promising example of how
university-based research might drive economic progress. Louisiana Tech
researchers have developed a cost-effective way to make paper that can
conduct electricity (Southern Growth Policies Board, November 2006).
- The E.J. Ourso College of Business Flores MBA Program at LSU is ranked 9th
in the nation for attracting corporate MBA recruiters (Wall Street Journal,
- Dr. Jack Strong, the LSU Health and Sciences Center pathologist who
first established the relationship of smoking to hardening of the arteries,
has been named the 2008 recipient of the President's Award from the U.S. and
Canadian Academy of Pathology. Dr. Strong, a graduate of LSU's medical
school, has received top honors from the American Medical Association and
the International Academy of Pathology, and he was the first recipient of
LSU's Distinguished Alumnus Award (U.S. and Canadian Academy of Pathology,
- The National Endowment for the Arts, a Washington-based federal agency
that promotes excellence in the arts, awarded Southeastern Louisiana
Instructor and poet Alison Pelegrin a prestigious $20,000 creative writing
grant. Only about 40 creative writing fellowships from a pool of 1,300
nationwide are awarded each year (NEA, November 2006).
- Betty Kleen, an information-systems professor at Nicholls State
University, recently received the Computer Educator of the Year Award from
the International Association for Computer Information Systems. The award is
one of the highest the international organization gives, and recognizes
research and teaching skills, significant contributions to information
systems and work throughout the industry (International Assocation for
Computer Information Systems, November 2006).
- A Southeastern Louisiana University film on Manchac Swamp has been
selected to compete for Best Overall film honors at the New York
International Film Festival. The film is produced by the University’s Center
for Southeast Louisiana Studies, and details the historical degradation of
the swamp (The Advocate, August 2006).
- Dr. Sally Clausen is being recognized as one of the most entrepreneurial
college presidents in the United States for her success in improving teacher
certification standards and presiding over major financial and academic
turnarounds at two universities (Inside Higher Ed, August 2005).
- LSUHSC graduate Bradley Davis is recognized as an outstanding student in
audiology. He developed a "hearing loss simulator" to help parents "hear"
how their voice sounds to a hearing-impaired child. He has given scholarly
talks to many professional groups. He won several grants and fellowships,
and plans to pursue a doctoral degree (LSUHSC, August 2005).
- UNO assistant professor Marc Rosenblum was awarded an International
Affairs Fellowship for his work in international policy. As one of the 12
people to receive the award, he will work with the White House, National
Security Council and Congressional immigration subcommittees (Council on
Foreign Relations, 2005-2006).
- Conde Nast Traveler Magazine has named Harrah's New Orleans one of the
100 best hotels in the mainland United States (Conde Nast Traveler, December
- Travelocity has ranked New Orleans as a Top 10 Global Destination for
Food Fanatics (Travelocity, March 2007).
- Before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast, Louisiana’s
state parks saw a 4.6 percent increase in visitors in FY 2004-2005, the
fourth year in a row the number increased (CRT, August 2005).
- Tourist visiting Louisiana spent $500 million more than the previous
year (LA CRT, 2004 vs. 2003).
- Set decorator and New Orleans native Gretchen Rau was part of the team
that won the Oscar for art direction for "Memoirs of a Geisha." She was
previously nominated for "The Last Samurai." (March 2006).
- Louisiana ranked 4th in the nation last year for the
number of jobs created and the amount of business investment in the
state. The rankings are based on the number of jobs created or projected
to be created in the last year among its top five largest projects, and
on the total projected highest capital investment totals among the top
five companies in each state (Business Facilities Magazine, January
- The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis says that personal income–a
measure of all sources of income of all residents–jumped 1.8% in
Louisiana to nearly $144 billion in the July-September 2007 period (U.S.
Bureau of Economic Analysis, December 2007).
- The U.S. Department of Labor said Louisiana ranks third in the
nation for dollars spent on customized training for employees. The
Louisiana Department of Labor's primary training program is the
Incumbent Worker Training Program, which has trained more than 206,000
workers since its inception in 1999 (U.S. Dept. of Labor, October 2007).
- Louisiana exports topped $13.4 billion in the first six months of
2007. The increase is 20.7% in value over the January-June 2006 period.
State exports reached $23.5 billion in 2006. Louisiana's export growth
for the first six months of the year nearly doubled the U.S. growth rate
of 10.6 % (World Trade Center, New Orleans, August 2007).
- Citing the state's economic growth, Southern Business & Development
magazine gives Louisiana the title "State of the Year" for 2007. The
magazine ranks Southern states on a points system based on the
investment and job announcements from the previous year. The states
receive scores for recruiting corporations and industries that offer a
large number of jobs or investment. Louisiana nearly doubled its point
total from the previous year, with a score of 220 (Southern Business &
Development Magazine, Spring 2007).
- The value of experts from Louisiana climbed 28% in the first quarter
of 2007 to $7.3 billion compared to the same period of 2006.
- Louisiana's worldwide merchandise exports hit an all-time record of
$23.5 billion in 2006, an increase of 22.2 percent. The state's previous
export high was in 2005 with $19.9 billion shipped abroad. 2005 reached
$19.2 billion despite two devastating hurricanes (World Trade Center of
New Orleans, February 2007).
- The Port of New Orleans has been named 2007 Best Comeback Port by
Porthole Magazine. The award is bestowed upon those in the cruise
and travel industry who have gone above and beyond in terms of service,
quality and excellence. Port officials said the cruise industry rebound
is under way with passenger embarkations and disembarkations projected
to top 475,000 in 2007 (New Orleans CityBusiness, March 2007).
- Film production in Louisiana has boomed since 2000, going from $20
million that year to $640 million in 2005. The state predicts film
production will bring in $700 million next year (Baton Rouge Business
Report, November 2006).
- Louisiana ranked 17th in states with best business
climates. The ranking was based 50 percent on a survey of corporate site
selectors and 50 percent on other factors, including new and/or expanded
projects and new plant performance (Site Selection, November 2006).
- Louisiana's worldwide merchandise exports resumed their strong
growth in the first three quarters of 2006 and are headed for a
record-breaking year. The state's total export value reached $16.2
billion for the Jan.-Sept. 2006 period, a 16.2 percent increase from the
year before. This increase outpaces U.S. export growth of 14.4 percent
(World Trade Center, November 2006).
- The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development earned
two national awards from the National Partnership for Highway Quality
for its evacuation plans that helped more than 1 million people leave
the New Orleans area before Hurricane Katrina (NPHQ, November 2006).
- New York-based Fitch ratings has upgraded Louisiana's Rating Outlook
on general obligation bonds to "stable" from "negative" and affirmed the
state's "A" rating on $2.4 billion in existing Gulf Opportunity Zone
bonds. The improved rating reflects the positive financial developments
in the state since the rating was downgraded from A+ to A in December
2005, following the hurricanes Katrina and Rita (Fitch Ratings, August
- Louisiana is the No. 1 state in which to make a movie outside of
California, according to P3 Production Update magazine, which uses
industry responses to determine state’s friendliness to the industry
(The Advocate, August 2006).
- Louisiana climbed from 8th to 4th in the May
2006 Update of Top 20 States for Industrial Project Spending Activity.
Louisiana climbed the list because of 13 new projects totaling more than
half a billion dollars (Industrialinfo.com, May 2006).
- Louisiana is 8th in the nation for Industrial Project
Development with $6.37 billion in total investment value in 242
projects. The analysis is based on projects scheduled to begin
construction in 2006 (Industrialinfo.com, February 2006).
- The Louisiana Economic Development organization has won
accreditation from the International Economic Development Council. To
become accredited, LED had to demonstrate adherence to commonly held
standards in the profession (July 2006).
- Local officials in Northwest Louisiana broke ground this month on
the Cyber Innovation Center, a $100 million research park that will
support and foster collaboration, research and technology development in
the cyber space industry. The permanent installation of the military
command and its 500-600 officers coupled with the research park could
have a transformative impact on the northwest region of the state, and
indeed the state as a whole (CABL Wire, January 2008).
- MovieMaker ranks Shreveport as the 3rd best place in the
U.S. to make independent movies, right behind Austin, TX, and Memphis,
TN. Shreveport's ranking is up three places from last year (MovieMaker,
- The Milliken Institute, a California think tank, and Greenstreet
Real Estate ranked Lafayette among the top 25 cities in the U.S. for
creating and sustaining jobs. The Best Cities Index, which ranks the top
200 cities for job growth every two years, reported that Lafayette had
the largest growth in the nation since the 2005 ranking (Daily
Advertiser, October 2007).
- Expansion Magazine has ranked East Baton Rouge Parish and the
Capital Region high on its list of most popular places for businesses to
relocated. East Baton Rouge Parish ranks No. 8 among mid-sized counties
and the Capital Region nine-parish area, anchored by Baton Rouge, ranks
No. 17 among mid-sized metro areas. More than 350 metro areas and 3,100
counties in three size categories were considered (Expansion Magazine,
- Trade through New Orleans customs district reached a record $153
billion in 2006, more than two-thirds of which was imports. This marks a
17% increase over 2005 and a 32% increase over 2004 (U.S. Census Bureau,
- Southern Business and Development Magazine ranks Gov. Blanco and
economic development secretary Mike Olivier among the Top 10 People Who
Made a Difference. The magazine cites Louisiana's outstanding business
reforms in the past three years as reason for the ranking (Southern
Business and Development Magazine, April 2007).
- Southern Business and Development Magazine named Lafayette as a Top
10 place in the South for the "creative class"–citing the city's
risk-taking spirit and technological advances. The magazine describes
the creative class as "relatively young, highly educated professionals
who give more to their communities while demanding more from their
communities" (Southern Business & Development Magazine, April 2007).
- Shreveport/Northwest Louisiana has been ranked as one of the Top 10
Places in the South for Emerging Growth Industry by Southern Business
and Development Magazine. The magazine cites the region's growth in life
sciences and other tech-intensive industries as well as the oil and gas,
renewable energy and the film and entertainment sectors for the ranking
(Southern Business & Development, April 2007).
- Lake Charles has been ranked one of the Top 10 Places for Aviation
and Aerospace by Southern Business and Development Magazine. Lake
Charles' Chennault International Airport, home to several leading
aviation companies, gives the city an edge in the aerospace and aviation
industry, the magazine says (Southern Business & Development Magazine,
- Shreveport-Bossier City has been named one of the Top 10 U.S. cities
to live, work and make movies in. The rating puts Shreveport-Bossier in
the same category as New York, Philadelphia, and Austin (Moviemaker
Magazine, February 2007).
- Ascension and Cameron Parish rank among the Top 20 nationwide for
industrial spending in 2007. Ascension ranks second with $5.11 billion,
most of it associated with the proposed $5 billion Synfuel
coal-gasification plant construction scheduled to be finished in 2009 or
2010. Cameron Parish ranks sixth in the nation at $3.02 billion due to
the emergence of liquified natural gas projects (Industrial Information
Resources, January 2007).
- 2006 was a record year for the Port of Southern Louisiana. The port,
which handles more cargo tonnage than any other U.S. port, moved nearly
263 million tons of material through its wharves, up from 243 million
tons in 2005 (Times-Picayune, April 2007).
- December 2006 marked the busiest month for cruise ship calls in the
history of the Port of New Orleans. Throughout the month, the port
received 23 cruise ship calls by seven cruise ships, bringing a record
95,000 passengers through New Orleans (New Orleans CityBusiness,
- Three Louisiana cities rank as Hot Midsize Cities for Entrepreneurs
in the U.S.: Baton Rouge is ranked 16th, Lafayette 22nd,
and Shreveport-Bossier comes in at 43rd (Entrepreneur 2006).
- The Acadiana Economic Development Council took top honors at the
Annual Synchronist Users' Forum in Chicago, IL. AEDC ranked first among
more than 450 national economic development organizations for its
efforts to retain existing employers across the region (Synchronist
Users' Forum, November 2006).
- A national site-location magazine has given New Orleans the top spot
in a listing of 40 metropolitan markets for businesses to consider
relocating to. Reasons for the ranking include availability of state and
federal resources, a reasonable cost of living, a stable, middle-class
labor force and low wages (Expansion Management Magazine, November
- Rapides Parish made the list of Top 10 Counties for Industrial
Project Spending, tied for 7th based on first quarter 2006
update of projects scheduled to begin construction in 2006
(Industrialinfo.com, April 2006).
- New Iberia ties for 20th on the latest list of Top
Micropolitan Area Awards. The awards and rankings honor those
communities of 50,000 or fewer people for their ability to secure new
and expanded corporate facility projects. New Iberia garnered six to
earn the ranking (Site Selection Magazine, March 2006).
- Lafayette-based "e-tailer" Golfballs.com has been named to the
Internet Retailer Magazine Hot 100 Web Sites list for 2008 (Baton Rouge
Advocate, December 2007).
- Houma-based Gulf Island Fabrication Company has ranked 43rd
in the 2007 list of America's 200 Best Small Companies by Forbes
Magazine. It's the third time Gulf Island Fabrication has made the list:
in 2003 it was ranked the 155th best company; in 2004 it was
ranked 132nd (Forbes, October 2007).
- ExxonMobil Baton Rouge's polyolefins plant was awarded a
Distinguished Safety Award form the National Petrochemical and Refiners
Association. This is the fifth straight year ExxonMobil Baton Rouge has
earned the award and the first time a company has one so since the
program began in 1982 (Baton Rouge Business Report, April 2007).
- The Associated Builders and Contractors Association named The Shaw
Group Contractor of the Year. The award goes to an ABC member that
demonstrates significant accomplishments for the association and
construction industry. Shaw was honored for its emergency response work
after the 2005 hurricane season, when the company provided temporary
repairs to hundreds of buildings and pumped floodwaters out of New
Orleans (Baton Rouge Business Report, April 2007).
- Marathon Oil has announced plans to build a refinery in Garyville,
LA. The new plant will create 250 new permanent jobs and provide 2,000
constructions jobs (WAFB, November 2006).
- Jeld-Wen, Inc., an Oregon-based window and door manufacturer
announced plans to build an $85 million materials plant in Winn Parish
that will employ 75 people. It is the biggest investment the company,
which employs over 20,000 people worldwide, has made in a single
facility (nola.com, November 2006).
- Formosa Plastics Corporation announced a $100 million expansion of
the company's Baton Rouge plant. According to company officials, Gulf
Opportunity Zone incentives made expansion in Louisiana the most
attractive choice for their business (LED, November 2006).
- Coe and Company of Metarie was one of two runners-up in the latest
list of small business awards. The awards celebrate entrepreneurs who
are using technology in innovative ways to grow their businesses.
Diamond Date of New Orleans was named as an Outsourcing Finalist for the
awards (PC Magazine, October 2006).
- Mezzo Technologies is the winner of the annual Tibbetts Award for
the nation's most productive technology company. The company was founded
by Dr. Kevin Kelly, an LSU faculty member and entrepreneur. The company
got its start in the Louisiana Business & Technology Center of the E.J.
Ourso College of Business at LSU, which itself was named the 2005
National Business Incubator of the Year. (Small Business Innovation
Research Program/U.S. Small Business Administration, September 2006).
- Baton Rouge-based Amedisys Inc. ranks 7th on Fortune
magazine's annual "100 Fastest-Growing Companies" list, the only home
health company to make the list (The Advocate, September 2006).
- Synfuel, Inc. has announced plans to build a major coal gasification
plant in Ascension Parish. The total capitol investment once the project
is compete is expected to be more than $5 billion, and will use lignite
from the northern part of the state as raw material to produce gasoline,
ethanol, synthetic gas, electricity, steam and methanol (LED, June
- Plaquemine's Shintech is named in the list of Top 10 Deals of 2005
in North America. The rankings are based on total capital investment,
number of jobs, regional economic impact, value of jobs and speed to
market, among other things. Global Energy of North America in St.
Gabriel ranks 3rd; Shreveport's Steelscape is named as an
honorable mention (Site Selection Magazine, 2006).
- The Tulane-based Hancock Horizon Burkenroad fund was featured on
Kiplinger.com in a story praising the small fund for its returns – 16
percent on average over the past three years. The fund, which invests
mainly in small Louisiana companies, has grown from $12 million a year
ago to $22 million. Student analysts at Tulane help fund manager David
Lundgren Jr. pick the stocks (September 2006).
- Apogen Technologies, a Top 10 homeland security contractor, has been
awarded four contracts for hurricane recovery. It has been named a best
place to work (CityBusiness, Washington Business Journal, August 2006).
- Venture capital firm Advantage Capital of New Orleans is a top 100
firm for both first-time funding to companies as well as later-stage
companies (Entrepreneur magazine, July 2006).
- St. Charles Parish's Valero Energy Corporation is ranked 3rd
on the list of 100 Best Companies to Work For (Fortune Magazine, January
- Dryades Savings Bank of New Orleans is the eighteenth-largest
black-owned bank in the United States (BE Banks, 2006).
- The Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office has received the Triple Crown
Award–the highest honor achievable in the law enforcement community. The
sheriff's office is one of 25 agencies to receive the award and the first in
Louisiana. The award recognizes agencies that receive accreditations through
the American Correctional Association, the Commission on Accreditation for
Law Enforcement Agencies and the National Commission on Correctional Health
Care (Lafayette Advertiser, January 2008).
- Lafayette has been awarded the Smart Community Award by the Digital City
Expo in recognition of Lafayette Utilities System's fight to provide retail
phone, cable and high-speed internet services to every home in the city
(Baton Rouge Advocate, March 2007).
- Madisonville and Mandeville were both named among the "2007 Top 100
Places to Live" in the U.S, according to Relocate-America. The ranking is
based on statistics and feedback from the people who live, work and play in
these communities (Relocate-America, 2007).
- The Baton Rouge Area Foundation climbed once again in the ranks of
community foundations. The Foundation is 21st in gifts received,
48th in grants paied, and 24th in market value
(Columbus Foundation, October 2006).
- New Orleans made the list of America's Top 10 Most Walkable Cities (AAA,
- The Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce is being recognized as a
four-star chamber for its effective organizational procedures and
outstanding contribution to positive change in the parish, despite setbacks
after Hurricane Katrina (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2006).
- Baton Rouge jumped 66 spots to No. 19 on the Most Unwired Cities Survey,
measuring the number of commercial and public places where wireless Internet
service is available. New Orleans comes in at No. 38 (Intel, June 2005).
- Baton Rouge's Shaw Center for the Arts has been named Best Multi-Purpose
Arts Building based on its architectural design, putting it on the list of
The World's 12 Best new Buildings (Artinfo.com, January 2006).
- Baton Rouge was featured in the New York Times travel section as
a great tourist destination for parents traveling with children. The
half-page feature was titled "On the Banks of the Mississippi, Where the
Kingfish Lived." (NYTimes, March 2005).
- In Natchitoches, Alligator Park, noted for its well-organized fun nature
exhibits, and Merci Beaucoup Restaurant with its Cajun baked potato and
bread pudding specialties, both placed as "Local Secrets, Big Finds" in an
Internet poll (Travelocity, 2005).
- Louisiana's electronic system for tracking childhood immunizations,
the Louisiana Immunization Network for Kids Statewide (LINKS), has
received the highest award from the American Immunization Registry
Association for its excellent service during Hurricane Katrina. The
LINKS staff worked tirelessly to make sure the data in their system was
available to registries around the country. This enabled children to
start school and avoid the pain of unnecessary vaccinations (American
Immunization Registry Association, March 2006).
- Louisiana's childhood immunization rate is up to 32nd
nationally, after the past two years of 46th and 49th,
respectively (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September
- Louisiana's colleges and universities received the nation's 27th
largest pot of federal funding for medical research in 2005. Tulane
received $73.3 million of the more than $293 million allocated to the
Louisiana institutions. The Tulane School of Medicine ranks 59th
out of the 123 schools with such funding (National Institutes of Health,
- Ochsner Health Systems in New Orleans has been recognized on of
"America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News and World Report. Ochsner is
listed as one of the nation's 50 best in the ear, nose, and throat
category. Ochsner's ENT Department was ranked in the top 50 hospitals
with its specialists in neurology, otology, rhinology, facial Ppastics,
head and neck cancer and pediatrics (U.S. News & World Report, July
- Louisiana Heart Hospital earned the Total Benchmark Solution Best
Acute care Hospitals Award based upon quality measure data provided by
U.S. health care organizations for 2005. Louisiana Heart Hospital tied
for the top U.S. hospital in quality of care for heart attack patients
out of 2,600 hospitals measured. It was the 11th hospital
overall (Total Benchmark Solutions, January 2007).
- LSU’s nine charity hospitals have received the 2006 "Safety Net
Award" for their performance during Hurricane Katrina. The award
recognizes the dedication, service and heroism displayed by the staff of
the hospitals (National Association of Public Hospitals and Health
- The Scientific American Magazine awarded an LSU research team,
headed by Professor Robert Hammer, for their work in creating a
synthetic peptide that can disrupt the formation of plaques believed to
cause brain cell death in Alzheimer's patients. The 2006 Scientific
American 50 Awards honor individuals and organizations who are driving
science and technology advances through research, business and
policy-making (Scientific American, December 2006).
- Louisiana is one of only seven states deemed to be prepared to
distribute drugs and other emergency supplies from a federal stockpile.
The designation is part of a survey that finds Louisiana among the top
21 states in planning for disease, disaster and bioterror attacks (Trust
for America’s Health, December 2005).
- Louisiana’s CommunityCARE Program, which links Medicaid recipients
to primary-care physicians, program was recognized as a top program for
the efforts it made in improving routine, well-child care visits to
identify children with disabilities at an earlier age (Center for Health
Care Strategies, August 2005).
- Louisiana's illegal (under 18) tobacco sales are just over 7
percent, one of the three lowest rates in the nation (DHH/Office of
Addictive Disorders, August 2005).
- MD Technologies and its website received the Silver Award in the
Best Community Benefit Communications category in eHealthcare Strategy &
Trents' sevents annual eHealthcare Leadership Awards. MD Technologies
was chosen from among 1,100 other entries nationwide. The website was
initially designed just after hurricane Katrina to help displaced
patients locate their physicians and is now continuing to help patients
and physicians reconnect and rebuild through it statewide physician
registry (Strategic Health Care Communications, November 2006).
Louisiana’s farmers help Louisiana place very high in the nation in:
No. 1 in sugar
No. 2 in rice and sweet potatoes
No. 9 in cotton and sorghum
No. 1 in crawfish
No. 2 in sweet potatoes and sugar
No. 2 in rice
No. 20th in sorghum
No. 9 in cotton
(Louisiana Agricultural Statistics 2005)
- The Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton rouge is one of 13 projects in the
nation to win the 2008 American Institute of Architects' Institute Honor
Awards. The awards were given to projects that were aesthetically appealing
and had social impact (Baton Rouge Advocate, January 2008).
- The Center for Public Integrity ranks Louisiana 3rd in the
nation–with a strong grade B–for its law requiring governors and
gubernatorial candidates to disclose their personal financial dealings
(Center for Public Integrity, July 2007).
- The Annie E. Casey Foundation has honored Governor Blanco and the
Governor's Office of Youth Development for its commitment to the welfare of
Louisiana families by reforming the juvenile justice system. The foundation
cites Governor Blanco for establishing the Office of Youth Development and
implementing juvenile justice reform as reasons for the honor (Annie E.
Casey Foundation, March 2007).
- Louisiana was only one of five states to receive an "A" for its legal
representation provided to abused and neglected children. The report
assigned grades based on several criteria, most importantly whether legal
counsel for children is mandatory and whether that attorney is required to
advocate for the child's expressed wishes. Other criteria included requiring
specialized training in child-advocacy law, the attorneys' ethical
responsibilities, and the child's right to attend key court hearings (First
Star, April 2007).
- Louisiana ranks in the top tier of 16 states with strong highway safety
laws designed to save lives, according to a study by Advocates for Highway
and Auto Safety, a coalition of insurance, consumer, health, safety and law
enforcement agencies. The ranking is a credit to state officials who have
worked to improve state traffic safety laws. As a result, last year,
Louisiana Highway fatalities dropped by 3% (AHAS, January 2007).
- Baton Rouge native Brett Blackledge is the winner of the 2007 Pulitzer
Prize, journalism's highest honor. Blackledge, who received his degree from
LSU and is currently a reporter for the Birmingham News, won the prize for a
series of stories exposing corruption in Alabama's two-year college system
(Baton Rouge Advocate, April 2007).
- St. Bernard Parish school Superintendent Doris Voitier has been named a
recipient of the 2007 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage for her dedication
to the school district during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The
nation award honors citizens who display an exceptional commitment and
contribution to public service (JFK Library & Museum, March 2007).
- Tereson Thomas of Broussard was named Best Entrepreneur at the annual
Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Thomas, CEO of Mother of Eden, Inc.,
based in New Iberia, invented the Fuzzi Bunz, a reusable cloth diaper that
eliminated rashes (Baton Rouge Business Report, March 2007).
- Cynthia DuBois and Jackie Zimmerman, two LSU seniors, were honored as
overachievers by USA Today as part of the national newspaper's 2007 college
Academic All-Stars (USA Today, February 2007).
- Melissa Hymel, Pointe Coupee Parish administrative librarian, was
selected as one of the 21 Top Librarians in the Nation by The New York
Times, for her work in helping provide resources to those displaced by the
hurricanes of 2005 (Advocate, Jan 2007).
- Kerry Jeanice, an RN at West Jefferson Medical Center, is a 2006 Nation
Winner for the Registered Nurse category of the Cherokee Inspired Comfort
Award, one of the nation's premier nurse and healthcare honors. Jeanice
earned the award for his service and commitment in the days following
Hurricane Katrina (Cherokee Uniforms, 2006).
- R. King Milling received the 2006 National Conservation Special
Achievement Award from the national Wildlife Federation for his work in
helping to restore Louisiana's wetlands (National Wildlife Federation,
- Louisiana ranked to 7th on the list of most generous states,
as measured by the amount its citizens give to charity. This comes even as
Louisiana is 46nd in earnings of its citizens (Catalogue for
Philanthropy, November 2006).
- Baton Rouge blues musician Henry Gray is being honored as one of only 11
recipients of the 2006 National Heritage Fellowships. The award is the
nation’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts, and is based on
artistic excellence, cultural authenticity and contributions to the field.
Gray will receive $20,000 in addition to the honor. Also receiving the award
is the Treme Brass Band from New Orleans. (National Endowment for the Arts,
- The New Orleans Times-Picayune won two Pulitzer Prizes for
meritorious public service for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its
aftermath. The prizes are journalism’s most prestigious honor
(Times-Picayune, April 2006).
- Louisiana ranks with the top states for providing open government. A
study shows that Louisiana, along with four other states, provide the public
the best access to government records (University of Florida, March 2006).
- Keith Thibodeaux, chief information officer for Lafayette Consolidated
Government, is one of the top 100 information technology leaders in the
nation. His work collaborating with other governmental and nongovernmental
entities earned him the honors (Computerworld, December 2005).
- New Orleans community activist Stephen Bradberry received the Robert F.
Kennedy Human Rights Award for his work to give the poor a stronger voice in
hurricane recovery. He is the first American to win the award (AP, November
- Louisiana's Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control has been named the 2005
Liquor Law Enforcement Agency of the Year. The agency achieved over a 91%
compliance rate after conducting more than 1,300 compliance checks (National
Liquor Law Enforcement Association, October 2005).
- Louisiana's Governor's Office of Film & Television Development made the
list of Top 50 Executives and Creatives who had an impact on the independent
film industry last year (Variety, September 2005).
PREPARED BY THE SENATE COMMUNICATION OFFICE
P.O. Box 94183
Phone (225) 342-9737 Fax (225) 342-0617
Updated January 24, 2008